QUETTA – Religious, political activists and schoolchildren on Saturday held demonstrations against a US anti-Islam film, calling on the government to sever diplomatic and economic ties with the United States, and the Muslim Ummah to boycott Jewish and American products.

The demands were made in at least four protests held under the auspices of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and students of the Government Sandeman School.

The main protest was held in front of the Quetta Press Club by the JUI-F. The demonstrators were holding banners and placards inscribed with writings against the US. Speaking to the protesters, Senator Hafiz Hamidullah condemned the very move to hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims. He said it had been a deliberate attempt by the Americans to show the world that the Muslims were extremists.  He also recalled that sometime back, a US priest had burnt a copy of the holy Quran and US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had also committed the same crime.  Hamidullah also demanded the government to break all ties with the United States, saying no compromise could be made on the faith and religion. Another protest was staged at Bacha Khan square by the JI. The participants were raising anti-American slogans, condemning the film.

Scores of workers of the PTI gathered in front of the Press Club and burnt a US flag as a mark of hatred against the producer of the profane film.

In his address, local PTI leader, Qasim Soori, condemned the film, saying that such actions by few irrational elements created hatred among the people of different religions. He said the Muslim Ummah should take serious notice of the blasphemous flick by evolving a joint strategy against such provocative actions in the future.

Meanwhile, students of the Government Sandeman School staged a protest demonstration in front of the press club. They raised slogans against the US while holding placards in their hands. The protesting students demanded the government to take serious notice of the sacrilegious film and take up the matter with the US government.